Sustainable growth- Steph M

4 11 2008

In Thursday’s class I was very interested in what the second speaker was saying about green communities. He talked about communities in Europe that were either being built or redesigned to be more sustainable. With these communities, it is not the fancy systems they put in to treat their water with plants or that they all have green roofs that make them so much more sustainable then the way we are living, it is that they are designing centres that have housing, work spaces and shops all within walking distance of each other. I don’t believe that the city I grew up in is well designed for pedestrians, but after moving to Winnipeg I realized that there are places that are worse. I found that in Winnipeg you have to drive your car everywhere, the only place that is designed well for pedestrians is Osborne Village. But I still have to take a car there first so I can then walk down the street to go shopping.  Dockside Green in Victoria, BC is trying to obtain this form of sustainability. Located on a previously industrial site, the designers are trying to rejuvenate the area and make living for the residents easier. The plan is to have a mixture of housing, and business with restaurants and shops. The shops are to be “community minded local tenants” so the community benefits. The development will be targeted towards pedestrians and will have large green spaces and natural elements. It is also supposed to have various renewable energy plans with solar heating, and small wind turbines. Although the development has been having some problems with some of their proposals and involved firms, it is where Canadian designers should be thinking.  This is an ideal plan for the area and is exactly what Canada needs. We need more public spaces and for areas to be targeted towards pedestrians. We can’t continue to drive ourselves everywhere, especially with the climbing gas prices.

– Steph M.




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